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The Norumbegan Quartet #3: The Empire of Gut and Bone Hardcover – June 1, 2011

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Frequently Bought Together

The Norumbegan Quartet #3: The Empire of Gut and Bone + The Suburb Beyond the Stars (Game of Sunken Places) + The Norumbegan Quartet #4: The Chamber in the Sky
Price for all three: $39.09

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 710L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Norumbegan Quartet (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; First Edition edition (June 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545138841
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545138840
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,172,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Praise for M. T. Anderson's

“Highly original and enormously entertaining”
– The New York Times Book Review

* “Anderson builds to a climactic series of surprises that, exploding like fireworks, will almost certainly dazzle readers.”
– Publishers Weekly, starred review

* “Deliciously scary, often funny, this tour de force leaves one
marveling at Anderson's ability.”
– Booklist, starred review


* “A masterful tale.”
– Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A fun and gripping read, with action, suspense, and creepy monsters that will keep readers up late – and make them want to keep the lights on.”
– School Library Journal

“A funny and eerie tale told with impeccable writing, and at
minimum, kids will come away a bit smarter just for having read it.”
– Booklist

About the Author

M.T. Anderson is the author of The Game of Sunken Places; the National Book Award-winning, Michael L. Printz Honor book The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party; and the Michael L Printz Honor book The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II: The Kingdom of Waves, as well as Feed and Thirsty. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Teen Reads on June 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
First things first: if you haven't already read the first two novels in M. T. Anderson's Norumbegan Quartet (THE GAME OF SUNKEN PLACES and THE SUBURB BEYOND THE STARS), (a) you should probably pick those up before diving into THE EMPIRE OF GUT AND BONE and (b) what in heaven's name are you waiting for?

This third installment in the series dives right in, following Brian, Gregory and the mechanical troll Kalgrash as they attempt to explore the Norumbegan Plain, the realm created by the elfin race during a previous iteration of the Game that has now grown entirely out of control. Even as they attempt to find the imperial palace so they can warn the Norumbegans about the danger to themselves (not to mention the entire world), the evil alien Thusser Horde is hard at work in the mountains of Vermont, their malignant version of suburbia quickly threatening civilization.

As Brian and Gregory quickly discover, however, even though the Norumbegans are, on paper, the "good guys" in this endless game, there's still trouble at the heart of their kingdom. They have essentially enslaved their mechanicals, programming them to see and feel only pride for the Norumbegans themselves, dismantling them when they grow too powerful or too emotionally demanding. Now the country's leaders are smack in the middle of a conflict with the Mannequin Resistance, who "'got tired of being told we weren't real, we'd never know love or the beauty of a baby's laugh or a puppy with a single tear in its eye.'"

Brian and Gregory, who have not been programmed, can see the land for what it really is --- a slum-like country of dilapidated palaces and disgusting rivers that run with...what?
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Capossere TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The Empire of Gut and Bone is the third book of the Norumbegan Quartet by M.T. Anderson, coming after The Game of Sunken Places and its sequel The Suburb Beyond the Stars. Unfortunately, it has many of the same problems as those first two books which led to my ranking them relatively poorly. Which is a shame, because there are some good ideas at the core of this series, such as this book's setting, and Anderson has shown himself to be capable of simply great work in the Octavian books.

At the end of the Suburb Beyond the Stars, the two main characters--Brian and Gregory, along with the automaton troll named Kalgrash Brian has befriended and Gregory hates --had stepped through a portal to find the Norumbegans, who had left Earth for New Norumbega. And here is the best part of Empire of Gut and Bone for the New Norumbega is, apparently (we're never shown it to be definitively so) inside a strange and huge body. It appears to have the equivalent of organs and blood and veins, etc., though everything is different and so the equivalents are referred to as the familiar parts of a body though the characters are never quite sure that's really what they are (there seem to be multiple hearts, for instance). This makes for some good travel methods and some great geographic names, such as a young female Norumbegan who is the "Daughter of the Duke of the Globular Colon."

Soon after entering this strange new world, Brian and Gregory meet a group of automatons who have left the service of the Norumbegans and are trying to live their own lives. A nice touch is that the automatons are programmed never to say anything bad about the Norumbegans and so their rebellion is the politest ever on record.
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